We just returned from our one-and-only family vacation for the year (we’re saving our nickels to buy a home next year). We spent a week visiting extended family and had so much fun seeing people we haven’t seen or connected with in quite awhile. One of my favorite parts of trips like this one is getting to catch up with family members I don’t often speak to – I’m notoriously bad at keeping in touch with them regularly.
But there was one common thread that kept shocking me as I spoke to each one: that their lives as portrayed on social media are quite different than their real lives. These are family members that I love and I found myself often saying “Oh really! That’s awful! I had no idea you were going through that.”
What we’re seeing online is largely the highlight reel. When I got to sit down and talk to family I hadn’t seen in awhile I learned that there’s much more – mostly serious – stuff going on than they’re certainly not sharing on social. Not that we need to or should be sharing everything on social but isn’t the point of social media to enhance and deepen connections to others? How connected can we really be if we are being totally superficial?
As it relates to our businesses, it made me think of a few things.
As modern marketers, we want to create deeper connections with our networks; and not only by using social media. So, here are three tips we can all use to better connect with our networks and enable them to better know, like, and trust us. We will increase our impact as people see that, just like them, we are human too:
1. Pick up the phone and talk to people.
Yes, between all of our social media platforms we follow, comment, and ‘like’, hundreds of friends, family members, and business contacts. We see candid photos, watch cute videos they make; but at the end of the day, for those we value remaining connected to, there’s just no substitute for picking up the phone – or video chatting – to stay authentically connected. I know, it sounds so old-fashioned, but I’m setting a goal of doing this more myself. Start by scheduling an hour in your calendar to meet in person or call folks that are on your mind.
2. Let your audience see behind-the-scenes.
Sharing some behind the scenes content – video, photos, stories – allows people to connect with our humanity. One gal I follow on Instagram is a frequent speaker and she posts Insta-stories about all the crazy stuff that happens to her and/or her clothes backstage before she goes on stage. It’s usually of the baby poop/spit-up variety. She’s hysterical and makes fun of it all. Sharing this way allows her audience to connect with her more deeply because we see ourselves in her and it helps us to better know, like, and trust her. Yes, there is a fine line between sharing and griping but it’s okay to be human and show your humanity.
3. Use social media to show your sense of humor, even if it’s self deprecating.
We all know that social media is a more informal platform and one where we can let our hair down a little. So, I’d encourage you to have a little fun with your posts occasionally, in your own unique way. Think of some ways that you make others laugh or share some stories from your work day that made you laugh.
And just so you know, I’m writing this post as much for myself as I am for you. I’m totally guilty of pretending that I have it all together, but I don’t. Managing a family and a business if fraught with messiness, so let’s just stop pretending we have it all together and share in our challenges together. We can make it fun and we’ll all feel more connected to actual, real people.
I love helping women in real estate, mortgage, and professional service businesses, grow their networks and remain top-of-mind, while building a business that reflects their true character. I offer done-for-you services, coaching/mentoring, and courses (beginning Fall 2018). You can learn more and find other helpful articles about marketing your business at my website.
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